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Commercial Flooring News

No Work Unless Qualified

Sid Bourne on the importance of installation training

HOW important is installation training? Ask almost anyone who has seen the results pay off, and they’ll say it’s essential. But for all the men and women who undergo training and certification and NVQ to better themselves and their profession, there are still hundreds of people who think they can wing it, basing their belief on what has worked in the past.
There are hundreds of installers in the carpet, vinyl and wood flooring industry who do it wrong every day, yet who still get paid despite poor workmanship. It seems logical to me that more carpets, vinyl and wood flooring would be sold if the consumers’ expectations were fulfilled with hassle-free installation and value for money was met every time.
I find that most installers in the flooring industry do not want to go to training, but when they do attend courses they get quite excited. That’s when they realise the new skills and techniques that they have learned.
At FloorSkills we frequently notice the results after we train a new installer or group of installers. They quickly realise how rewarding the flooring industry is after we teach them in a professional manner. They become much more confident when they realise that they can take advantage of the new skills learned.
The importance of training is what keeps me going.
I look forward to the day when manufacturers make training and qualifications a requirement to install their products. If this ever happens training will no longer be ignored: the industry will improve and more flooring will be sold. Why oh why do manufacturers not see this?
It is not only the installers who should be trained, but also the managers and the owners who all need training, although it may be different types of training for them. I am a believer in holistic training, which basically means training for everyone regardless, manufacturers, distributors, warehouse staff, reps, agents and so on, and it is something that FloorSkills offer.
Training should be a key component of learning throughout an installer’s career. The main misconception is that an experienced installer will not learn from continued training. This is a dangerous myth. Knowledge, materials and techniques change.
Different types of flooring are introduced which requires training and it is important to keep training continuously. Experience may be a good teacher, but you do not want it to be your only teacher.
FloorSkills is the official provider of training for the British Wood Flooring Association and I personally carry out the training in wood floor apprenticeships which is the only recognised CITB genuine wood floor apprenticeship. It is run over two years leading to a full technical level 2 NVQ.

The apprenticeship is open to non-members of the BWFA also.
For a limited time, there are even extra incentives for the employer in which FloorSkills along with our partner company Flooring Assessments sort out for the employer, with the apprenticeship fully funded in most cases and a lump sum on top for the employer!. The apprenticeship is open to all ages. We will arrange and organise everything and advise you of the funding we can get for you, so just give us a call to discuss. Companies should take advantage of this soon as funding will not be available forever.
There are also fully funded apprenticeships available through FloorSkills in carpet, and impervious flooring available as well. In many cases it will be fully funded or if not fully funded there will only be a small ‘top up’ to pay, which can be in monthly instalments.
I would also say with confidence that FloorSkills offer the best training available in the country and guarantee that all apprentices come away with the full required skills, qualifications and more.
It is a fact that the vast majority of people who call themselves installers have had virtually no formal training. In many cases the only installation process they know is what they saw from their ‘senior’ when they first started working in the flooring industry. And that process may be wrong. More often than not, it is wrong.
Unless the process of installation being taught is correct and up to date we have not trained a new installer, but have merely cloned an ineffective one.
A time will come when unless you are properly qualified then you will not get work. I think this will happen in my lifetime.
I literally get calls every day from architects, hotels, home owners and others asking for me to get them a top installer because of the poor experiences they have had with poor workmanship.

It shows that if you are a good installer you can get the work.
FloorSkills offer a grading system which you can see on the website. It has been proven that the top guys regularly get work on recommendation. I even get calls from some telling us not to give their number out for a while as they are snowed under with good paid work. That is as a result of the grading. We need more installers fully trained to recommend for this work.
FloorSkills has been running full apprenticeships now for some time and many of those being trained turn out to be extremely good. That is certainly good news.
Apprenticeships are available for any age and FloorSkills will get the funding. That means free training and also a free qualification at end of apprenticeship. What more can you want? CFJ
You only need to speak to us and see how we can help, or let us know what we can do for you.
Contact FloorSkills n 01564 703900
www.floorskills.co.uk
E: sidbourne@blueyonder.co.uk
www.sid-bourne.co.uk
T: 07841 500940

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.